Okta’s Vision for Access Management

The future of Identity and Access Management is changing. Where Access Management (AM) was once one of many components of the legacy IT stack, it is shifting to the central role in how companies will modernize and manage IT – using identity to drive transformational change across all aspects of their business.

AM has already started to evolve in significant ways, moving to the cloud and broadening from its traditional role. AM offerings like Okta that are delivered as a 100% multi-tenant cloud service are uniquely equipped to innovate faster, centrally monitor, manage and upgrade services, and scale to meet customer needs. And it’s not just important within the four walls of a business – AM needs to work across both internal and external use cases and regardless of the architecture of the IT environment – cloud, on-premises or hybrid. In the future, companies will rely on their AM solution to provide functionality outside of the traditional boundaries of AM to fulfill the promise of completely managing access. This is particularly true for organizations that have not adopted adjacent technology areas like enterprise mobility management, identity governance, CASB, and SIEM. Finally, the future of AM will have a broader scope of functionality, evolving to include pre-built UX as well as a robust developer platform, and serve the breadth of identity needs across a company ‒ for employees, contractors, partners, and customers.

Analyst firm Gartner also tracks the evolution of Access Management, and in June Okta was recognized as a leader in the debut of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Access Management Worldwide 2017. The new report follows the retirement of the IDaaS Magic Quadrant, and now includes both on-premises and cloud-based identity solutions evaluated side-by-side. This research from Gartner is important validation that cloud-based identity solutions not only meet but excel in offering the full range of AM requirements, as it becomes central to how enterprises manage IT and transform their businesses.

The growing role and expansion of functionality around AM is being driven by a few major trends, including:

  1. Making IT even stickier: There’s no slow-down in the growth of apps, with an increasingly distributed IT infrastructure and a higher rate of mobile adoption. IT will need to support this trend while maintaining security and governance over company data. AM will, therefore, need to be more consumable and configurable by end-users and admins as employees add to the proliferation of apps within an organization.

  2. Access lifecycle becomes core: As AM systems oversee an increasingly complex set of users (B2E, B2B, B2C), provisioning becomes integral to the continuum of options for establishing a user’s access. From managing the real-time sessions to dynamically adjusting the user’s status within an app, provisioning capabilities offered natively from AM solutions will provide the enterprise the functionality they need to successfully oversee the growing diversity of entities and resources across the company’s ecosystem.

  3. Identity is the new perimeter: Over the coming years, the greatest security weakness will continue to be non-malicious employees activities that lead increased exposure. Visibility and data available through AM solutions and close integration with the company’s other security tools will play a key role in identifying these vulnerabilities and solving this security problem. As the front door of all services, AM systems will also be the primary point of protection against scalable attacks, while minimizing user friction in accessing resources.

  4. The rise of developers: Developers are on the rise both within and outside of IT. As their influence spreads across all aspects of a business, they will have more power to make independent decisions on the tools they prefer to use. AM systems will need to have a broad API surface area, offer a complete set of developer tools and docs, support modern apps, and be flexible enough to fit into any developer use case. And, AM systems will need to provide IT or security with a rich policy framework for managing access across all app dev teams in the enterprise.

  5. IT becoming more human: Looking further out on the horizon, ‘bring your own identity’ will become a reality with users managing access to their own attributes as they join and leave organizations. This may introduce more complexity, which will require AM systems to evolve to function more naturally, resembling the way you recognize people in real life and let them know things about you.

Access Management is taking on an increasingly integral role as it moves to the core of modern IT architecture. As we live and breathe identity every day, we watch these trends closely and are excited by the opportunities they will enable for our customers. As the language around Access Management and the trends impacting it and its very role evolve, we’re committed to not only building what is necessary for Access Management today ‒ but equipping our customers with the best possible tools for what is needed tomorrow.

Interested in learning more? Keep an eye on the blog for our latest announcements and thoughts on the future of Access Management. To read more about Gartner’s vision for the market and Okta’s placement as a leader in the recent Magic Quadrant for Access Management, download a complimentary copy of the report here.